Vancouver parents among those paying the most for child-care


VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Child-care costs have risen across the country with some regions feeling the pinch more than most.

A new study by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives tracks the price of child care across 27 Canadian cities and three age groups — infants, toddlers and preschoolers.

It has found child-care fees are highest in Toronto, with parents facing median costs of more than $1,030 regardless of what age group their children fall in.

In fact, Ontario takes the top seven spots, with Vancouver coming in at eighth at just over $900 a month for pre-school kids.

Quebec is at the other end of the spectrum, where government policies have capped child-care fees at $174 a month across all age groups.

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition for Childcare Advocates in BC says placing this far down the list isn’t something to be proud of. “We really should be looking to the example in Quebec where child-care is affordable for all families and that should be what we are trying to attain, not to have the high fees that Toronto has.”

“For most families, child-care is the second highest cost next to their housing,” she adds.

Median costs for infant care in Toronto, which equal more than $1,700 a month, are noticeably higher than second-place Newfoundland and Labrador, which still charges $1,400.

Moms and Dads in Winnipeg shell out about $651 a month, and in Charlottetown, it’s $738 per month.

The study also found that space in regulated child-care facilities was hard to come by in every city and lengthy waiting lists are common.

The centre says the numbers suggest the need for all levels of government to invest in a more affordable child-care system nationwide.

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